Leaders of US, Mexico and Canada meet for first ‘Three Amigos' summit since 2016

Meeting comes against backdrop of crucial House vote on Biden’s Build Back Better law

The leaders of the US, Mexico and Canada gathered around a table at the White House on Thursday for the first time since 2016.

The trilateral North American Leaders' Summit, affectionately known as the “Three Amigos” summit, used to be an annual occurrence, but former president Donald Trump chose not to carry on the tradition.

US President Joe Biden, eager to restore America’s diplomatic role in the world, was quick to re-engage with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts.

“Our North American vision for the future draws on our shared strengths as well as three vibrant democracies and a dynamic population and economies wishing to work together,” said Mr Biden as he kicked off the afternoon of discussions.

However, the summit comes at a tense time.

Mexico and Canada are worried about the possible effects of an electric vehicle tax credit that is included in Mr Biden’s Build Back Better programme, the cornerstone of his domestic agenda.

Congress is set to vote on the bill as soon as tonight.

If passed, a sizeable tax credit would be offered to those buying electric vehicles manufactured in the US, which could negatively affect Canada and Mexico’s auto industries.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pitched Canada’s case for removing the tax credit to Congress on Wednesday and alluded to it during his public appearance with his counterparts.

“We're making sure that our integrated North American economy produces good jobs and supports the middle class in our three countries,” said Mr Trudeau.

“This would be underpinned by a world-class trade agreement that protects workers' rights.”

Speaking to reporters after the Summit, Mr Trudeau remained optimistic that a favourable outcome could be achieved, despite little progress from his two day trip to Washington.

"We're going to continue to do the work necessary to not just highlight our position and find solutions," said the Prime Minister.

On the summit agenda, issues such as immigration, economic development and security were included.

Updated: November 19th 2021, 3:37 AM
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